West Indies on Sunday recorded a comprehensive 8-wicket win over India in the second T20I between the two sides at Thiruvananthapuram's Greenfield International Stadium. They chased down a target of 171 with nine balls to spare with opener Lendl Simmons being unbeaten on 67.
The win helps them level the three-match series 1-1.
West Indies were helped significantly by misfields and dropped catches by the hosts. Washington Sundar's nightmarish run in the field continued when he dropped a sitter and gave Simmons a lifeline while he was on six off 10 balls in the fifth over that was bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Two balls later, Simmons' opening partner Evin Lewis was saved when Rishabh Pant was wrong-footed. The wicketkeeper did well to get to the ball after changing direction but it was a drop nonetheless.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli during the first T20I match between India and the West Indies at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Dec 6, 2019
Lewis and Simmons went on to put an opening stand of 73 runs, which remained the West Indies' best partnership of the match.
Sundar managed to get the breakthrough with some help from steadfast glovework by Rishabh Pant which got Lewis stumped on 40. Shimron Hetmyer came in and was starting to tee off when he was dismissed thanks to a screamer of a catch by Virat Kohli on the boundary line. However, that was the last bit of joy for the hosts as Nicholas Pooran came in and took the visitors home.
Earlier, Shivam Dube's masterful 54 off 30 balls was one of the chief reasons why India managed to post 170/7. Dube was promoted to number three and he repaid the faith shown by hitting a maiden international fifty. After his dismissal, Kesrick Williams and Sheldon Cottrell led the way in stopping the Indians from crossing 200. Kohli, who was unbeaten on 94 in the previous match, was dismissed for 19 off 17 balls.
The series now moves to the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai where the decisive final T20I will be played on December 11.
Brief scores: India 170/7 (Shivam Dube 54, Rishabh Pant 3 n.o.; Hayden Walsh jr 2/28) vs West Indies 173/2 (Lendl Simmons 67, Evin Lewis 40; Ravindra Jadeja 1/22)
No total will be good enough if we field so poorly: Kohli
Indian captain Virat Kohli said that the hosts' poor fielding cost them dearly in their second T20I against the West Indies on Sunday. West Indies won the match that was played at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram by eight wickets to level the series.
"If we field so poorly, no amount of runs will be enough. We were poor with the field in the last two games. We dropped two catches in one over," he said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Openers Lendl Simmons and Evin Lewis were both provided lifelines by dropped catch in the fifth over of the match. Apart from these, there was a slew of misfields, including mistakes from Ravindra Jadeja who is considered one of the best fielders in the world.
Kohli also said that the fact that India could not score freely during the death overs was also a factor in their defeat. "I think we were good for 16 overs while batting. But then the last four overs we got only thirty. We need to focus on that. Shivam's (Dube) knock helped us reach 170. To be honest, WI bowled cutters and their change of pace did not help us," he said.
Shivam Dube was promoted to number three and the move worked with the 26-year-old all-rounder scoring his maiden international fifty. "We knew the pitch is going to help spinners, so we thought why not Shivam go up and attack the spinner. That was the plan, worked very well," he said.
The decisive final T20I will be played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on December 11.